September 16th is designated by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. We might have given Ozone a place in our annual calendar and highlighted the issue of ozone degradation, but this won’t address the real problem.
Deterioration of the ozone layer was mainly taking place over Antarctica and became a particular cause for concern for those living in the southern hemisphere. Ozone, a colorless gas, protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation, which could cause higher rates of skin cancer and cataracts disease, suppress immune systems as well as disrupt plant growth, scientists say.
However, measurements from satellites in the year 2017 showed the hole in Earth’s ozone layer that forms over Antarctica each September was the smallest observed since 1988, NASA scientists have announced. “The Antarctic ozone hole was exceptionally weak this year,” said Paul A. Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “This is what we would expect to see given the weather conditions in the Antarctic stratosphere.”
There is a possibility that the ban on the CFCs resulted in about a 20 percent less ozone depletion during the Antarctic winter from 2005 to 2016, while chlorine levels declined by an average 0.8 percent annually, the scientists at NASA said.
30 years ago, the Montreal Protocol was signed to control this very phenomenon about the worsening condition of the ozone layer. Today, after a lot of efforts made by scientists, various governments of different countries, and the widespread awareness, finally the ozone layer might be saved.